Around £1.4 billion worth of commercial deals, an agreement to accelerate the final preparations for the London-Shanghai Stock Connect initiative and new commitments to develop work on the Mutual Recognition of Funds and a bond connect, have been announced this week as part of the 9th UK-China Economic and Financial Dialogue (EFD) held in Beijing.
And in a boost to UK businesses operating along the Belt and Road in Asia, up to £25 billion in financial support – such as loan guarantees – has also been announced.
The summit involved a series of events over a two-day period, where agreements were reached on areas of trade and investment, deepening the financial services relationship, new partnerships on industrial strategy, and further ways in which the UK can partner on infrastructure initiatives. The event also saw the inaugural meeting of a new UK-China trade working group to “lay the foundations for a deeper future trading relationship ahead of the UK leaving the EU”.
The UK Treasury, which led the envoy, reported that progress was made on reducing tariffs on a range of food, retail, and pharmaceutical goods, and in steps towards China lifting its ban on UK beef exports, which came into place following the BSE crisis in the 1990s.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond said:
"These successful talks are an example of Global Britain at its best, demonstrating that we can work with our friends and partners across the world to support jobs, businesses and prosperity. This is testament to our strong and dynamic economy, and the world class talent and expertise we have to offer.
These talks show the UK is truly open for business and we look forward to continuing the Golden Era of UK-China relations."